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4 kittens

Takes Head and Goes Home.

Posted on 2017.02.26 at 22:12
Hawaii's unfinished story:

Off to a good start!  Hawaii wrote this over winter break.

Once upon a time, there were two happy reindeer. And every year, they would help Santa fly the sleigh around the world, and deliver all the presents to the good girls and boys. One was a girl, her name was Riley. There was also a boy, his name was Ken. They were a happy couple.

One day, Riley found out that she wa pregnant. A couple weeks later, the baby was born. They named her Ella. Ella grew very fast. Finally the time came for Ella to fly.  And man, she was good at it!

One night on Christmas Eve, Santa was delivering gifts. Ella was leading all the other reindeer. And then suddenly, when Ella was sticking out her tongue to catch the wind, she felt something cold. It was a snowflake and [they] had just entered a blizzard!

Snowflakes flew towards them in every direction! The sleigh crashed. All the reindeer went in different directions. But Ella, the first one to split up, got stuck in a tree. When she finally got unstuck, she saw that part of her antler had broken off.

The next morning when Ella was walking down the street, she smelt something yummy. It was coming from a grocery store. When she got inside, she followed the smell all the way to the vegetable aisle. She followed it to the carrots. Then she started eating.

IT'S OVER!  I've been after Hawaii not to leave this story unfinished, but I think I lost. I can't imagine her picking it up after two months.

Pokey's unfinished story:

The Magic Treehouse. A touch derivative, but it's his first book. Don't judge.

Jack and Annie were in their treehouse and they were looking in a book, and it was The Cat in the Hat Book, and they went into the book. It was funny there. They saw Cat in the Hat. He showed them the way and around the silly town. It was fun there, and then there was a loud BAM. There was a ship in the ocean. The ship was going to destroy the town!

The ship was going to win. It got its guns out and started shooting at the town. Everybody ran away. After they ran away, they got their guns out. A big war, it took 20 years until the war ended. When the war ended, there was a lot of damage. They had to do a lot of fixing up.


Just to be super explicit, there is a children's book series called The Magic Treehouse, in which the main characters, Jack and Annie, jump into books. But the rest of the details are Pokey's own.

Ace's properly finished story:


He finds a head.

Takes head and goes home.

He goes to bed.


Rascal did not write a book, but this photo still makes me laugh:

Rascal has learned how to climb out of his crib. We could still contain him - the crib pushes under Hawaii's upper bunk, like a drawer - but that seems cruel. So we're taking it as a milestone.

Oddball assorted moments:

It's still my favorite thing: dark cloudy skies in the east, sunny to the west, lighting everything up like it is glowing.

There's even a worlds-within-worlds thing going on in the lower left corner:

It's eighteen-wheelers all the way down.

On a different thing I love:

God-fucking-damnit, I love my kids' principal's dedication to being technologically moronic.

Here's how it goes:
1. Parents get a text message from the automated system.
2. Text message contains a link to a website.
3. At the link, there is a photograph - like the one above - of the principal's computer screen.

That is how he forwards out emails to us all.  So you'll get a link in an email that you can't click on, because it's a photograph of a link, that he sent through a text message link system. The layers are amazing.

This particular photograph is probably the best-worst one I've ever seen, even without an unclickable link.  Bless him, and I don't know who Bianca is.

Remember how upset you were not to know the 5th Commitment to Commitments? I've got your back:
5. I commit to Gratitude which Reinforces Humility: What I appreciate, appreciates. We rise when we rest on the foundation of Humility.

Don't overthink it, lest ye descend into word mush.

A goofy selfie.  A goofie.

Mirages in the corners of institutional sinks. You see that too, right?

Today I took Hawaii to HEB with me.

I gave her her own shopping list. She had her own basket. She had to come find me whenever her basket got too heavy, and I'd verify that she got the right items.

Do I need to state how much she loved this? How she puffed up and carried herself like a tiny, important adult, just out doing some grocery shopping in preparation for a busy week?

Here is the secret for Hawaii: whenever she is becoming unpleasant, she needs to be given more responsibility. If she could actually get hired as a BusinessLady, with a rolodex and briefcase, she'd be the most agreeable kid on the planet. Grocery shopping was kind of a dream.

Since January, Hawaii has officially become a reader. She's devouring the Magic Treehouse Series (c/f Pokey's book above) and now disappears to read, for fun. I'm so glad.

Basking in the soft, warming, glow of the iPad.

These fuckers:

The past six weeks have been a plague of Asian Beetles, aka They're Not Orange Ladybugs. They were cute, and then they were overwhelming, and now they are dead, everywhere. This is in a classroom that I teach in.

Pokey announced that he had created a recipe:

Chopped lettuce
Rice, 1 cup
Two Tbl of chopped pepper
9 pieces of apple
Mushed Radish

We tasked Mimi with making the recipe with him. They made two versions - with and without the rice - and he decided he liked the texture better without rice.

Also I adore Pokey spelling "of" as "uv" because it reminds me of integration by parts.

And this:

Also by Pokey. That red monster in the corner is something else.

Ace was singing her ABCs yesterday, and she wrapped it up like so:
"...TUV, W, X, P & Z."  It rolled off so naturally. So great.

Each kid has two swaddles from when they were a newborn. Hawaii's are black and gray. Pokey's are pine green and blue. Ace's are turquoise and lime green. Rascal's are mustard yellow and brown. It mostly depends on what was in stock at JoAnn's that season.

Ace's lime green blanket has been missing since January. We've never lost a blanket before. It's bothering me a lot, although Ace hasn't really noticed yet.

I've been having wonderful conversations with the big kids, such as:

1. Suppose it is Opposite Day. (This was not hypothetical. We spent a good twenty minutes uttering opposites.) Can you ever truthfully utter the phrase, "Today is Opposite Day"?

2. Which letters match themselves in the mirror? What if you change the location of the mirror - hold it below the letter, say? What's going on with letters like N, and Z, and S? They seem to have symmetry, but how do you get them to line up with themselves?

3. I taught them Pig Latin. It's definitely a challenge, especially for Pokey.

4. We've started reading the second Harry Potter book. Goddamn it's fun to read these with them.

While I'm bragging on them, let me record two nice moments from Teacher-Parent conferences this past week:
Hawaii's teacher mistakenly knighted her twice in one year. Ms. D told me that it had been a mistake - no kid is supposed to get doubly knighted - but said, "When I heard tolerance, I just thought Hawaii! She is always willing to work with anyone in the class, whether she likes them or not."

Pokey's teacher said, "Pokey always goes the extra mile on an assignment. Most kids will just write a single sentence, and he'll write a paragraph." She told a story where an aide corrected Pokey and said, "Pokey! Remember, a sentence has to make sense!" and Pokey said, indignantly, "This does make sense! It's a conversation!" and once the aide was clear on the implied grammar, everyone agreed that it did indeed make sense.

Those are gendered complimentary stories - look how nurturing Hawaii is, look how creative Pokey is! Their school is a pretty gendered place. All you can do is discuss with them as you go. So we do.


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-02-27 04:34 (UTC) (Link)


I love Hawaii shopping! That's great.

Also look at that handwriting. I don't think my handwriting was ever that good, and certainly not at her age. Yowza! Plus, yes, that's a great story. (The curse of the unfinished narrative!)
heebie_geebie at 2017-03-06 03:41 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hawaii

Her handwriting is completely amazing. Jammies has particularly atrocious handwriting - can't read his own writing and so he painstakingly writes in all caps to keep it semi-legible - and mine is run-of-the-mill sloppy. Hers is precise and beautiful. Plus I really love the grocery store and wanted to know what the reindeer was going to do there.
(Anonymous) at 2017-02-27 19:39 (UTC) (Link)
The Geebie kids are awesome...I wish I could be more willing to work with anyone, whether I like them or not.

The kid shopping basket idea is a really good one. I'm going to try that one on my own older one.

heebie_geebie at 2017-03-06 03:42 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't end up taking Pokey this week - Jammies was sick, so I took the kids out of the house to a birthday party for a couple hours, so Jammies slept and did the shopping. And the next two weekends are irregular. So it will be a while until I test the semi-literate kid.
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